Buying FAQs

Posted on 25th April 2019

Are you considering buying a property, but aren’t sure where to begin? Have a read of our commonly asked buying-related questions:

I want to buy a property – where do I start?

Firstly, you’ll need to establish your budget and how you will finance the purchase. If you are going to need a mortgage it is important to see a financial advisor or go to a bank or building society to find out whether you will be able to borrow, and if so, how much.

Depending on your financial circumstances, it may be easier to go to a financial advisor with access to the whole of the market, which means they will shop around on your behalf to find you the best deal tailored to you. You will be able to get your chosen lender to provide you with a ‘decision in principle’ which means you can prove that you will be able to borrow a certain amount.

Once you know how much you can spend, you can start looking. The best way to look is through an online portal such as ‘Rightmove’ or ‘Zoopla’. It is also a good idea to call the estate agents in your local area too. Register on their mailing list and tell them exactly what you are looking for - this way they might even be able to alert you to a property which is suitable for you before it comes on the market.

Buy 2

I’ve found a property I want to buy, what comes next?

You will need to put an offer in on the property through the estate agent you viewed with. This stage will usually take some negotiation and the agent will do this on your behalf. Once your offer has been accepted, you will be asked to provide your proof of funds, which will be a bank statement if you are paying cash or your ‘decision in principle’ if you are taking out a mortgage. You will also need to provide a copy of your ID.

Now is also the time to instruct a solicitor. Usually the estate agent you are dealing with will have some recommendations and it can be beneficial to go with who they suggest, as they are likely to recommend someone who will get the job done quickly and thoroughly.

How long does it take to complete a purchase?

A normal house purchase takes between 8 and 12 weeks to reach completion from when the offer was accepted.

Buy 1

What is Stamp Duty, and do I have to pay it?

Stamp Duty is payable on any property which is over the price of £125,000 and how much you will pay depends on the cost of the property. It is calculated on a sliding scale; 2% on the portion £125,001 to £250,000, 5% on the portion £250,001 to £925,000, 10% on the portion £925,001 to £1.5 million and 12% on any amount above £1.5 million. There is a calculator online to help you work out the correct amount to be paid and it is worth bearing this in mind when offering on a property as you will have to pay this on completion, along with your solicitor fees.

When do I need to pay the deposit?

Before the property completes, contracts will be exchanged. It is then that you will need to pay your deposit to the solicitor. The deposit money will be transferred to the owner’s solicitor’s accounts which means the seller is bound under contract to sell the property to you on a date which has already been agreed. You will know the date you will get the keys once the contracts have exchanged, and this date cannot change.

Who is responsible for organising home insurance?

You are responsible for organising home insurance. You will need to prove to your solicitor that you have insurance in place before the contracts are exchanged. Usually you will have to send your policy document to them.

How is a completion date chosen?

A completion date must be agreed by both parties. Your solicitor will be responsible for negotiating and agreeing this date on your behalf and they will ask you to suggest a date once they are ready for exchange of contracts.

Buy 3

We’re here to help you find your perfect home and answer any questions you have. If you have another query, get in touch with us on Twitter (@ventureprop) or contact your local branch: